the action of declaring something to be untrue. the refusal of something requested or desired.
Why do people live in denial? Let me equate what living in denial does to a Hydrangea, since they are all in bloom where I live.
A flower cannot reach its full, glorious bloom, without reaching for the light. It also needs nourishment, encouragement, all of the nutrients that come from nature and care. If they just sit there and don’t do what is required of them, meaning the work to thrive with the other flowers to be a part of the bush, it will lose its leaves, shrivel up and die.
The flowers that do their part will thrive, because they keep reaching, keep growing and will consequently get all of the attention and praise from everyone looking at them because they are gorgeous and have reached their fullest potential.
In order for people to grow and reach their fullest potential, they need the same things. If you are a part of a family or partnership, then you must do your part, in order to remain a part of the unit. If you are feeling uncomfortable in any of your relationships, then you are not only denying yourself the opportunity to grow, you are not growing with your people.
In order for relationships to flourish, there has to be conversations. A relationship cannot grow without them. You have to talk things out. You have to be willing to hear someone else in order to expand and flourish as a partnership. But if every time you try to talk to someone about your thoughts, feelings or concerns and the person refuses to listen, it is very telling of their lack of growth because they are unwilling to receive what you are saying.
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone in order to move your relationship in a better direction, only to have it met on deaf ears? This is the ostrich in the sand syndrome. As long as they aren’t conversing, it isn’t happening, so they don’t have to face their discomfort.
Or, they may even hear your words as a personal attack. This can turn into a unhinging in about a millisecond. You had intentions of wanting to express how you felt so you could understand one another better, and now you’re at war. You can’t for the life of you figure out how you went from “I am concerned about…” to doors slamming, name calling and being ignored.
You will probably shut down yourself, feel hurt, then angry and before you know it, you learn not to share things because every time you do, its met with this type of behavior. You start to question yourself and think that maybe you’re asking for too much, but what you need to understand, is that you aren’t talking to an adult, you are talking to a wounded child.
This is not to say they are childish, it is to say that they are still running the program of the little kid who was ridiculed, shut down, abandoned, controlled, judged and felt worthless every time they tried to express themselves. So, consequently, every time they even hear a tone or see a look that reminds them of the original source of their pain, they go into protective mode.
Your attempt to have a real conversation is met with anger or avoidance, because there were no such things as conversations for your person, there was simply you do as I say and you don’t question it. So you can understand that if they haven’t done any growth, they will hear you as the parent who belittled them and there will be no constructive conversations with them at all.
If you are a person who lives in denial, you will be incapable of maintaining healthy relationships, only co-dependent ones. And like the flower who passively sits on a branch and doesn’t do any work to try and grow itself, others around you will learn that you are a person who bypasses real conversations and will stop talking to you about anything of substance, or maybe altogether.
People who grow can only be with people who are growing too. It is the ultimate form of love. It says, I care about you and our connection and want a relationship that is one of give and take and therefore I will do whatever is necessary to make this work.
Denial says, I only care about myself and am not willing to do the work or my part and will stake claim to being a victim of its circumstance instead of the creator of it.
The only denial you should ever be in is the bay in South Australia…in a little fishing boat, holding a rod and drinking a beer.